5,000 new jobs on the way

Construction has begun on a 100,000sq ft office development in Limerick city centre — kickstarting the €500m Limerick 2030 economic plan.


Artist’s impression of Hanging Gardens, Henry St
The plan unveiled four years ago sets out a strategy embracing three city-centre sites with the expectation of creating 5,000 jobs within five years. Work on the first location at Henry St, known as The Gardens International Office, which commenced yesterday, will involve an investment of €17.6m with a completion date in 2018.

The 2030 plan provides for the development of two other sites. One an area adjacent to Patrick St, known as The Opera Centre, will see the creation of a third-level campus with hundreds of students from the University of Limerick Institute of Technology and Mary Immaculate College moving into the city centre to study and live.

The Gardens office centre will have space for up to 750 workers and it will provide 150 jobs during construction. The Gardens’ project contract signed last week by JJ Rhatigan & Company builders and Limerick 2030 is the first special purpose vehicle of its kind in Ireland and was created by Limerick City and County Council to purchase and build strategic but unused key sites in the city.

Limerick 2030 chairman, Denis Brosnan, said The Gardens development will be the catalyst for a new era of growth for Limerick.

How Lower Henry St looks now.
He said: “This is the first in a wider programme that is going to transform Limerick into a dynamic living and working city capable of competing with the leading destinations in Europe for inward investment. Limerick’s time has come and timing is a key aspect of this given the capacity constraints and competitive issues that other cities who want this type of investment have.

“It’s also timely from a Brexit perspective as Limerick, with high-end projects like this, will be the best placed and most competitive English-speaking city in the EU for inward investment. We will have state-of-the-art space in a city that has been revitalised over the last three years or so but remains an extremely cost-effective location for operating international business in and from.”

Conn Murray, the chief executive of Limerick City and County Council, said Limerick has seen significant job creation and over €1.3bn invested over the last three years with the fastest growing employment rate in the country.

Mr Murray said: “The Gardens will now trigger a new wider programme of investment in infrastructure to bring that record period in Limerick to another level. Limerick is rejuvenated, it is attracting a lot of international attention and now we will be able to offer what FDI and indigenous investors mostly look for — inner city locations in a vibrant city where people can work and, indeed, live. This will be a landmark project for Limerick and in time we will look back on it as pivotal moment for the city and region.”

Artist’s impression of the Upper Henry St development
The Henry St site was part constructed during the boom but has remained a shell development since work ceased there several years ago. The five-floor development will be suitable for a range of uses.

It has been designed to a high spec, with a modern office feel dovetailing and entirely complementing the aesthetics of an architecturally significant building considered one of Limerick’s most unique.

Developed in 1808 by the Roches family, the old limestone-faced building with stunning red-bricked internal barrel vaults was a revolutionary project for its day, having been designed with a sophisticated heating and irrigation system to support roof-top hanging/vertical gardens with vegetation such as exotic fruits such as oranges, grapes and pineapples.

How Upper Henry St looks now.
Aim to ‘get fundamentals in place’ for city centre

One of the main goals of the Limerick 2030 plan is to ensure the city centre fulfils its economic potential by becoming a desirable place in which to do business.

The aim is to create a city centre setting capable of attracting new inward business investment and encourage new local enterprises by providing high-quality space and necessary business supports.

The plan states: “The city centre should be at the heart of the wider economic strategy for Limerick, developing its role as a place of creativity, culture and consumption. It is the ‘shop window’ for Limerick.

“Its role will not just be about providing the accommodation and infrastructure, but also providing the ‘quality of life’ factors so important to investors, employers and skilled workers.”

The plan notes: “Many of the ingredients and inherent attributes necessary to be successful are in place. The 2030 spatial plan seeks to take advantage of these.

At the signing of the €17.6m contract to develop the 100,000sq ft Gardens International office on Henry St, Limerick were, back row, Con Murray, CEO Limerick City and County Council; Cllr Seamus Browne; project architect Louise Cotter, Carr Cotter Naessens/ Denis Byrne Architects; Cllr Noel Gleeson; Cllr James Collins; Cllr Joe Pond; and front row, Pat Daly, director Limerick 2030; Denis Brosnan, chairman Limerick 2030; Ger Ronayne, regional director, JJ Rhatigan; James Godley, regional manager, JJ Rhatigan.
“There needs to be a range of specific projects and programmes, including new development and redevelopment projects. Further enhancements to the fabric of the city centre are also required: the renovation of the Georgian Quarter and other heritage assets; further public realm and transport improvements, and improved management and positioning. The renaissance of the City Centre requires the delivery of a series of inter-related interventions. The success of each intervention will depend upon the delivery of others.

The new limerick heavies


“The desire to strengthen the city’s shopping offer will depend upon increasing economic development, attracting private sector investment, and enhanced culture and leisure programme, improvements to the physical environment, an enhance tourism offer. Equally an improved shopping offer is a pre-requisite to the successful attraction of new business, tourism.

“As a start Limerick needs to get the fundamentals in place around business, shopping and living opportunities. It needs a better infrastructure and public realm to make it a comfortable and appealing city centre. However, to achieve its full potential it needs to embrace a series of transformational projects completed by a programme of employment interventions addressing the shopping, business and residential markets, plus a programme of improvements to the public realm and city centre infrastructure.”

Plan will build on earlier successes

The Limerick 2030 plan stresses the importance of challenging false beliefs about Limerick.

In late 2000, when the vicious gang feud descended into a new level of depravity, gardaí and political leader feared the city was on the verge of anarchy.

However, successive ministers for justice gave Garda management full support to do all that was necessary to deal with the crisis.

At that time, one -third of all shootings in the State occurred on the streets of Limerick City.

Extra armed units, good police work and the support of the people of Limerick saw a huge and successful rescue mission which led to the jailing of most of the key gang leaders and the abating of major crime.

The recovery in the image of the city was helped by a number of factors. These included the huge positive media coverage of the Munster Rugby team in the Heineken Cup and the great impression visiting rugby fans got on their visits to Thomond Park.

The ongoing enlargement of facilities at the University of Limerick, Limerick Institute ot Technology and Mary Immaculate College resulted in an inward surge of young students from all over the country abroad.

The 2030 plan stresses the need to assert the strengths and attributes the city has to offer and urges that this must be done with a sense of purpose and conviction.

While the commencement of The Gardens centre is the much-heralded and long-awaited gamechanger, business people in the city have not been found wanting in standing up to the plate in investing in the city centre.

There has been a spectacular broadening in the variety of dining-out experiences and night-time entertainment.

JP McManus has begun work on a new world rugby experience which will be located inthe heart of the city on O’Connell St.

The historic area in King’s Island, which includes King John’s Castle and St Mary’s Cathedral, will be enhanced with the moving, later this year, of the courts to a new building near Limerick prison.

Visitors getting off tourist buses in the parking area at Merchant’s Quay can often be greeted by groups who gather at the entrance to the district court in a less than welcoming formation.

Limerick Foot Bridge. Yay or Nay?

The controversial Limerick Foot Bridge is back on the table it seems. Here is some background that we would like to share with you, judge for yourself.

We know already that our Limerick City and County Council performed significant research on this project in June of 2014 with the assistance of a company called AECOM. In short, it looks like there were 3 design candidates:

Option 1- ‘The Balcony on the Shannon’

The Balcony on the Shannon

Option 2- ‘The River’s Apex’

The River’s Apex

Option 3- ‘Twin Arches’ (yes, we know it has only one arch, despite the name…)

Twin Arches

The project particulars as of that date, were as follows:

Limerick 2030 identifies a new public waterfront adjacent to Arthur’s Quay Park, it proposes that a “new Riverside Park will run the length of the City Centre from Sarsfield Bridge through where Sarsfield House currently stands, along between the Hunt Museum and the River and over a new pedestrian bridge into a pedestrianised Potato Market area linking up to the upgraded King John’s Castle tourist attraction.” This proposal is reflected and incorporated in the Limerick City Development Plan 2010-2016 and forms part of a number of key projects identified for delivery in the coming years.

As part of the potential, next generation, tourism investment in Limerick, Failte Ireland proposed a major transformational project – the creation of a RIVERWAY proposal that would see the construction of new footbridges and possible future connections across and along the River Shannon to provide new ways to experience the City and to animate the visitor’s experience of both the river Shannon and Limerick city centre. All journeys could make apparent and restore the intimate relationship between the City and the River Shannon.

Limerick City & County Council wish to appoint a Project Manager/ Employers Representative and Quantity Surveyor in connection with their proposed Footbridge project. It is intended that the Service will be required throughout all project stages of this design & build contract.

The services will typically include taking the brief and engaging with the client to clarify the requirements, obtaining statutory approvals where necessary, preparation of detailed design and tender documentation, management of the tender process, administration of the works contract, cost control including agreement of final accounts, management of the handover process including the provision of handover documentation to the client and all required interaction and reporting to the client throughout the process etc. Details of the services to be provided by Consultants will be further set down in the tender documents.

Almost as interesting as the project overview and the proposed bridge designs, is the e-mail correspondence that we uncovered during our search for information. It’s a 20MB file, so may take a moment to download, if you’re interested in it’s entirety).

email correspondence

And so the story goes on. Hey, if you’re that interested, we have all the files here at Limerick 2030. Let us know if you’d like us to share them with the rest of our citizens.

Is mise le meas,



Limerick 2030 musings on news of new Shopping Centre

While many Limerick City-centre businesses (and obviously the Chamber of Commerce by association) are unhappy about the overruling of their planning permission objection to the multi-million injection into our city, we are not of the same opinion.

An alternative to blocking Limerick’s forward trajectory, would be for city-centre businesses to take a more holistic view of the bigger picture, in terms of their business strategy.

For example, being located in the city-centre does not ‘entitle’ any business to get more trade/footfall, by default. It takes more than an attitude of ‘we’re in the city centre so you shop here’ to entice customers to buy their products and services.

The businesses need to incentivise people to come into the city centre for reasons other than their location (or indeed any other external factors) to enhance their business. The reason people should come to your place of business should be because you are offering something better than the others.

A better product. A better service. Something to make a customer choose you, because you are better, because you are worthy of receiving our money in return for your goods; not because you are ‘near’.

Aspire to make your business better than the rest. Then customers will come to your whether you’re in the city-centre… or not.

Original article from the Irish Examiner here.

International PigTail Day on 9th August. Don’t Forget! #PigtailIreland

Did you know that it’s International Pigtail Day on Saturday 9th August? Let’s show the rest of the Country how it’s done Limerick !!!! :) We think mammys and daughters should unite in Limerick!International Pig Tail Day Limerick 2030


Google asks “Why is Limerick so Rough?” Limerick Responds #LetLimerickChoose #Limerick2030

Why is Limerick so Rough?

No. We say instead, “Why is Limerick so AWESOME.”

We’ll let you in on something strange that happened here today, so that you’ll know what this story is all about.

One of our researchers had some spare time on their hands and decided to go onto Google and do a search in relation to Limerick. We started our research by entering the words “Why is Limerick” into the Google Search box… and then Boom. Google get’s all nasty on us.

Without asking us anything further and without any hesitation, Google’s Auto-Complete immediately auto-suggested “Why is Limerick so rough” (amongst some other unsavoury things, as you can see below). All this before we could finish typing in our question!

Limerick2030 Rough

Now, that got us around to thinking.

Is this what people are really searching for? Is this what people see on Google when asking about Limerick? Do we look like this to the ‘outside world’ from Google’s point of view?

You see, we love our City and want others to love Her also, but it’s hard to change the impression people have when even Google is on our case. As it turns out, there is something we can do. It takes approximately 5 seconds.

We have devised a cunning plan of epic proportions, to make Google change the suggestions that pop-up when somebody is doing a search. Here’s what you gotta do:

  1. Open the Google Search box
  2. Type in “Why is Limerick so AWESOME” (as per the pic. below) and then hit enter.
  3. If you’re one those people who are riding the tidal wave of apathy that’s often out there in relation to Limerick 2030 (and any Limerick based projects in general) we’ve made it so that you only need to click a single link to make all this happen Let Limerick Choose.

Why is Limerick so AWESOME

You see, if more than a hundred people or so do this, it will cause a change in Google’s Auto-Complete algorithm. To cut a long story short, it will mean that when people type “Why is Limerick…” into Google, they will no longer see the bad stuff popping up first and they will start seeing the good stuff popping up instead.

Limerick has the power to choose what other people will see in Google.

Editor’s Note#1: We got so hooked on this ‘auto-complete’ thing, that we decided to do one for every county, not just Limerick. The results are below. Some are normal and some are just… well, see for yourself.

We Typed this into Google: Google Auto-Completed this : Editor’s Note #2
Why is Antrim why is antrim called the saffron county It is?
Why is Armagh why is armagh the orchard county  
Why is Carlow No Result Anybody using Google in Carlow?
Why is Cavan No Result Google did suggest : “why is Cavani so cheap”. Maybe both Cavan and Cavani are cheap?
Why is Clare why is clare the banner county  
Why is Cork why is cork known as the rebel county  
Why is Donegal why is donegal not in northern ireland  
Why is Down No Result Google did suggest : “Downton Abbey”. Not a surprise. Everybody hearts Downton…
Why is Dublin why is dublin called dublin Deep.
Why is Fermanagh why is fermanagh sparsely populated  
Why is Galway why is galway the city of the tribes  
Why is Kerry why is kerry called the kingdom  
Why is Kildare why is kildare marathon cancelled What? Nobody told us!
Why is Kilkenny why is kilkenny a city Indeed. Some gobbeldy-gook about a Cathedral we believe.
Why is Laois why is laois called the queens county  
Why is Leitrim No results Enough said.
Why is Limerick why is limerick so rough All counties can be rough. We’re trying to change that perception, as you know.
Why is Derry why is derry sometimes called londonderry  
Why is Longford No results  
Why is Louth No results  
Why is Mayo why is mayo bad for you This being the Mayo that we put on our sarnies, as opposed to the Mayo we all know and love. We’re confused now?
Why is Meath why is meath called the royal county  
Why is Monaghan why is monaghan called the farney county  
Why is Offaly why is offaly called the faithful county  
Why is Roscommon No results  
Why is Sligo No results  
Why is Tipperary why is tipperary called the premier county  
Why is Tyrone why is tyrone a black name No racism here. A quick dive into the Google search results show it’s the first_name = “Tyrone” that Google is talking about. Not County = “Tyrone”. Phew.
Why is Waterford why is waterford called the deise  
Why is Westmeath why is westmeath a county This is up for debate we guess.
Why is Wexford why is wexford called the model county  
Why is Wicklow why is wicklow called the garden of ireland  

Let Limerick Choose.

Is Mise le Meas,

Patricia Sarsfield

#LetLimerickChoose #Limerick2030